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TfL’s attempted tactics over LUL staff and OCP

27 April 2011

In early April 2011, TfL approached TSSA to state they were proposing changes to OCP (Organisational Change Policy), and then forged ahead with their dictated timetable of consecutive meetings to discuss.

OCP is the policy, which sets out the process for dealing with organisational change and minimum standards for how staff should be treated when displaced, against the backdrop of jobs at the threat of redundancy. LU’s OCP has mirrored TfL’s since its inception in 2004 and applies to non-operational staff only. With the announcement of further job cuts now imminent across the TfL sector, labelled ‘Project Horizon,’ it is clear TfL are applying a hurried process for change before more jobs are slashed.

The meetings with TfL did not get off to a good start for two main reasons: 1) TfL considered OCP as a matter for consultation, not negotiation and 2) any changes arising from, would apply to LU staff as well as TfL staff.

The above points were contested strongly by TSSA, as it is our firm belief that the contents of the policy give rise to our members’ contractual entitlements, subject to negotiation. Not least the contractual entitlement to a period of 4 months in a redeployment pool, and access to the voluntary severance scheme. TfL arbitrarily asserts that it is non-contractual. However, following TSSA standing firm, TfL has now agreed to enter into negotiations with TSSA. This means change should be as ‘agreed’ with the unions and not implemented unilaterally. It has also been conceded, following the insistence of TSSA, any subsequent change to OCP will apply only to TfL staff policy, as per their framework agreement and not LU’s. Whilst LU is a subsidiary of TfL, LU is a separate employer who employ staff on a different set of contractual terms and conditions. In addition, TSSA members employed directly with the Underground are covered under a distinctly different agreement for the purpose of collective bargaining, owing to either consultation or negotiation. To date, LU has not shown any intention to change their existing agreements, inclusive of OCP and the ‘main agreement’, which applies to non-operational staff. The status quo therefore remains in LU.

Talks are now underway at TfL and it is important to note that LU also stated at their last Company Council meeting, any talks being held over OCP changes at TfL does not apply to LU staff. The proposals being discussed are a matter for those TfL reps representing TfL members.

In the meantime, TSSA recognises the need for elected reps in both TfL and LU to build upon their relationships within their union and to share experiences in keeping in communication with their members and in seeking their wider involvement. As a result, TSSA has facilitated joint meetings at our offices to assist with the sharing of information. To find out more, make direct contact with your TSSA functional council representatives to provide more info, attend your TSSA branch meeting or Divisional Council, check out this website for updates and for urgent advice, contact the help desk on 0800 328 2673.

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